New Florida Shark Finning Ban Bill Signed

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a watered-down bill initially proposed to stop the shark finning trade in Florida. The bill, signed Tuesday 5/23/17, does increase penalties for shark finning and codifies a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rule prohibiting this practice, but does not go as far as shark conservation groups wanted. The original … Read more

Marathon Lobster Mobster Jailed for 121 Illegal Lobster

More than 100 marine-resource conservation counts were filed against a Marathon man late Monday after law officers surprised a boat making a nocturnal landing. Jose Carlos Acosta Arias, 37, was carrying a mesh bag with 77 wrung lobster tails when he stepped off a “blacked-out vessel” near the oceanside of 74th Street in Marathon, reported … Read more

FWC Nab Wildlife Mobsters in Fishing Bust Off Key Largo

  Four Homestead men aboard a 15-foot skiff off North Key Largo were arrested Sunday on multiple conservation charges Sunday, state marine officers report. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers recovered a mesh bag from the bottom of Angelfish Creek, agency spokesman Officer Bobby Dube said. The bag held undersized lobster, snapper and grouper. … Read more

Big Pine Key Lobster Mobster to Surrender 400 Trap Certs

A Big Pine Key fisherman arrested in October for lobster fishing with hundreds of illegal traps was ordered Thursday to surrender 400 traps, effectively cutting his fishing capabilities in half, according to court records. David Lee Boggs, 51, was ultimately charged with more than 100 counts of misdemeanor fishing without proper tags after state wildlife officers … Read more

SW FLA Divers Blast Lawyer Accused of Lobster Poaching

Jon Hazelbaker captures a legal lobster on a patch reef off Big Pine Key. The Fort Myers Beach resident and researchers say lobsters are scarce in the Keys, but commercial fishermen say the popular crustaceans are plentiful.(Photo: Kevin Lollar/The News-Press) With all the lawyer jokes out there, Fort Myers attorney Steven Koeppel didn’t do his … Read more

Local Lobster Mobsters Sentenced

Three [Lobster Mobsters] fishermen convicted of robbing lobster traps and possession of undersized lobsters in June stemming from their September 2011 arrest were banned from commercial lobster fishing for life and two of them were given prison time. The captain of the Marathon-based commercial lobster fishing vessel Classy Lady, Nelson Rojas, was convicted of trap … Read more

Law Enforcement Cracking Down Harder on Lobster Mobsters

By KEVIN WADLOW When lobster-resource violations reach the egregious point, Florida Keys prosecutors “will take it very, very seriously,” State Attorney Catherine Vogel cautions. “All those people out there for lobster mini-season next week need to be aware they cannot take undersized lobster, wring tails on the water or spear lobster,” Vogel said Tuesday. “A lobster can … Read more

Tennessee Man With 63 Illegal Lobster = 156 Criminal Charges

BY KEVIN WADLOW A Tennessee man found off Key West with 63 lobster tails was booked into jail on 156 resource conservation counts Thursday, state marine officers report. Charles J. Emanuel, 38, of Signal Mountain was snorkeling off a canoe at the Sigsbee Ledge, a few hundred feet from a U.S. Navy campground, according … Read more

FWC: Miami Man Rode Sea Turtle in the Florida Keys

BY KEVIN WADLOW Marine officers apparently have video of Carlos Hernandez riding the turtle. Riding a sea turtle and spearing a shark near Conch Key put a Miami man in jail Sunday, state marine officers report. Carlos A. Hernandez, 31, was booked into the Monroe County jail on five misdemeanor conservation counts — and … Read more

Lobster Mobster Yasmany Escalona of Hialeah Arrested

21-year-old Hialeah man was arrested Sunday on multiple lobster-related charges after FWC officers found him illegally spearing lobster near Banana Bay Resort in Marathon, Dipre said. Yasmany Escalona was charged with felony tampering with evidence after diving and burying a bag of wrung tails in the mud after officers spotted him Sunday morning, Dipre said. … Read more